Bruce Irons, Laurie Towner, Dylan Longbottom and Matahi Drollet score the 50-year storm.
Last weekend Teahupo'o delivered a swell of epic proportions. It also coincided with the film production of Point Break 2, starring stunt surfers Laurie Towner and Dylan Longbottom. Along with the Aussies, Tahitians Tikanui Smith and Tuhiti Haumani, also played a leading role while the very experienced Raimana Van Bastolaer, Manoa Drollet , Laird Hamilton and Nicolas Lee-Tham did shift work on the skis.
Despite the threat of Hollywood reportedly closing down Teahupo’o exclusively for the shoot a small group of freesurfers swooped on the swell that included Anthony Walsh, Hawaiians Bruce Irons and Albee Layer, Kiwi Dan Smith and 17-year old Tahitian Matahi Drollet who stole the show.
“This day at Teahupo’o was particularly tense," recalls photographer Raihei Tapeta. “You could feel the tension between the production boats and those that weren’t as well as among the surfers." As the swell arrived at the predicted tow-only size so too did the perfect conditions. “The waves in the morning were particularly beautiful. They were smooth, regular and open, the light was good and it was a long period swell. Some of the waves made me think of the historic session of Laird Hamilton in 2000 at Teahupo'o when conditions were incredibly similar.”
The only mark on the day was the horrific wipeout suffered by Laurie Towner. By all accounts it appears that everyone got their fill and put on a show that even Bodhi would be proud of.
All photos: Raihei Tapeta
For those of you who prefer moving pictures you can see footage of Matahi Drollet's bomb below to give you a perspective of how heavy conditions were on the day.